Modern teens do so many things better than we did.
-They are better at discussing youth issues like bullying and inclusion.
-They are more involved with social and political issues.
-They better utilize the power of communication to advance their interests.
-They take better pictures. (And selfies. And are better at video games. Ok, I’ll stop.)
Yet there is an important, invaluable LIFE SKILL that this generation is not surpassing us in and MOST millennials are struggling with how to learn this life skill.
This generation is HORRIBLE at practicing… self-care.
Self-care = Any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health.
I wish they had a school subject called “Self- and Relationship Care.”
Yet (as I often say) it’s not a school’s responsibility to teach this NEEDED skill to our children. Teachers teach math, history and science.
Teaching self-care is a parent’s job.
As parents, we need to help our children learn how to respond well to…
…as these are a natural part of everyday human life.
If we don’t help them to learn self-care, where will they learn it?
I am not talking about teaching/learning rocket science here. I am talking about helping our kids understand the value/necessity of simple self-care practices like:
-A relaxing meal
-Reading for pleasure
-Jumping on the trampoline
A HORRIBLE STORY AND A WISH
Last February, a horrible, evil event happened in Florida and a young person was at the center of it.
Something very painful happened to a teenager named Nikolas Cruz. He was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This must have been very difficult for this troubled young man.
To experience a painful life event like school expulsion, a modern teen would need to practice excellent self-care to cope in a healthy manner.
Yet as we know, he did not cope with it well.
On February 14, 2018, he took an Uber to his old high school and, led by his anger and emotions, he committed one of the worst, unimaginable events in American history.
I wish I could go back in time, before he did this violent act… (or someone could go back and meet with him).
I would have asked his adopted parents if I could have him for the weekend. (His birth parents both passed.) I would take him camping. Maybe fishing. Maybe bring him to a concert or a ball game. My Spotify would play a bunch of good, relaxing music. I would fill his belly with good food and drink. We would have prayed, meditated. We would have laughed and dreamed of a better future.
Most importantly, as I have done with many teenagers, I would have coached him in practicing self-care.
And I would have taught him about the necessity of practicing daily self-care, especially when life is hard.
THEY NEED OUR HELP
As with all life skills, modern teens need help from their parents and/or other adults in learning how to practice excellent self-care.
The BEST way to teach something is for the teacher TO MODEL IT.
So parents: Go on a long walk, get a massage, stare at those birds outside the window, make a dinner reservation, call a babysitter, snuggle up with a warm drink, go to a game, and “Take care of yo’self!”
Take Care of Yourself.
How we help teens and parents:
Sean Donohue Family Coaching provides coaching and mentoring to hurting and defiant teenagers, and we show parents how to restore love, order and communication to their family.
If your family is hurting or struggling with communication or defiance, we would love to partner with you and help you to restore love and communication in your home. We come to you. We don’t want or need “an office.” We connect with teens while doing activities they enjoy doing and meet with families in their homes.